Biofilm and Antimicrobial Testing

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iFyber provides a suite of biofilm and antimicrobial susceptibility tests to verify the efficacy of antimicrobial medical devices and drugs. These include but are not limited to, antimicrobial dressings, bio-engineered tissue products, biomaterials, bioactive dressings, and novel anti-infectives.

Biofilms are complex communities of microbes protected within a matrix of sugars, proteins, and extracellular DNA. Compared to free-floating (planktonic) forms of bacteria, biofilm-associated bacteria are much more difficult to kill due in large part to the presence of this protective matrix and a reduction of metabolic activity. These characteristics, in addition to their tolerance to antibiotics, make biofilms significantly more difficult to prevent and remove. Biofilms have been demonstrated to form on a range of surfaces, including medical devices and human tissue systems. Additionally, research has shown that between 60 to 90% of chronic wounds are associated with biofilms, which can further compromise wound healing and closure, and delay patient recovery. iFyber offers a menu of biofilm tests and assays that assess biofilm prevention and dispersal efficacy. iFyber also has the ability to develop custom biofilm test models, as custom test models are often needed in the development of technologies to combat resistant biofilm infections. Biofilm tests at iFyber can be tailored to evaluate technologies in a way that meets the client’s objective.

We focus our biofilm testing on determining the efficacy of new technologies, and we actively develop novel assay systems based on our client’s specific needs. Initial in vitro test methods can be used to screen formulations and measure antimicrobial and anti-biofilm efficacy for a range of applications, from therapeutics to antifouling technologies. For wound care applications, our ex vivo model allows for the evaluation of prototype formulations on a more clinically relevant matrix before the start of costly in vivo animal studies – saving money and reducing time to market.

In addition to our standard and custom biofilm testing program, iFyber also offers a host of antimicrobial susceptibility testing options for planktonic (free-floating) bacteria. Biofilms continuously shed planktonic bacteria that can disperse and attach to other areas of the wound, potentially forming new biofilms. By taking a multi-method biofilm testing approach, treatments can be evaluated for their ability to both prevent the formation of biofilms and eradicate existing biofilms.

Examples of relevant materials for biofilm testing include new antibiotics/biocides, coatings, nanomaterials, wound dressings, gels and ointments, wound washes, coated natural tissue matrices, and coated medical devices. In addition to custom testing solutions, iFyber offers GLP-compliant testing services.

Histology & Imaging

As a complement to our antimicrobial offerings, iFyber routinely performs histological analyses and microscopy techniques for evaluating biofilm prevention and eradication using our ex vivo model of mature biofilm. Visualization of bacteria can be performed through LIVE/DEAD staining or fluorescence or luminescence (e.g., bacterial GFP or luciferase [lux] reporter systems). These techniques allow for qualitative visual evidence of the effects of anti-biofilm treatments on the structure and morphology of underlying tissues and the prevention or eradication of infiltrating biofilm. Data derived from these models can aid the development of effective device- and drug-based wound care treatments.

why include biofilm

Biofilms pose a major clinical threat. Current estimates from the US National Institutes of Health suggest biofilms account for over 80% of all microbial infections. Given the relatively recent understanding of biofilms, biofilm testing is becoming an increasingly common addition to the screening profile of new antimicrobial technologies.

Ex Vivo Porcine Dermal Model for Mature Biofilm
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Minimum Biofilm Eradication (MBEC) Assay
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Microwell Biofilm Susceptibility Assays